unfold (2018)

Instrumentation: Quartet

Duration: 8:00

The idea of this piece began with the imagery of a painting being folded several times, until just a small piece of it was visible. What you would be able to see at this point presents a very small amount of information about the painting until you begin to unfold it, slowly revealing more information about the larger image. This imagery was used to first create a motive and then break it down into it’s smallest fragments. As the piece unfolds more of the big picture is revealed while the very first small details are still present. Although the end of the piece completes the image, the image was always present from the very beginning.

abstract objects (2018)

Instrumentation: Quartet

Duration: 4:00

The idea of abstract objects is a theory on the existence of non-physical items and how our minds operate in order to perceive them. With concrete objects they exist in a physical sense. We can see the object and touch the object to learn about it. We do not have these same abilities with an abstract object, such as the idea of numbers. We know that numbers exist but we have no ability to physically see them or touch them. Relating this idea to music, I wanted to experiment with this idea of time signatures as abstract objects. Every musician knows what time signatures are and how to use them, but there is no physical existence. With this in mind, I’ve written a piece that places each performer in their own “time signature” through the piece, using variations of 4, 5, 6, and 7. The large structure is created using the opening chord of deskbells, having each performer strike their respective notes within the chord on each “downbeat” of their individual time signatures. From the first chord it takes 420 beats to complete a full cycle and have that same chord struck again. For ease of performance purposes, the piece was later place into a single time signature.

it resonates? (2018)

Instrumentation: Trio

Duration: 6:00

"it resonates?" is an experimentation with resonant sounds that are seperated into three different "families" of instruments. These families consist of mallet percussion (vibraphone), auxilliary percussion (crotales, small cymbals, and cowbell), and found percussion (metal pipes and a metal plate). Each family throughout the piece recieves similar treatment in which the sounds are altered through different playing areas, different mallets, and dampening. The piece begins with long open tones to set the harmonic language, followed by each section after that stacking another layer of sound ontop of the last. The form functions almost like a spiral; continously and seamlessly moving upward until it suddenly stops. 

it must be now  (2017) 

Instrumentation: Quartet

Duration: 8:15

When I first began writing a piece for the 2017 Sandbox Summer Seminar, I had no direction, theme, or general plan. I had written plenty for percussion before, so I first made a list of some new textures and ideas I wanted to work with, and then I found the above poem.The poem, by Arthur Conan Doyle, uses text to mimic the transition of spoken word into an echo. It plays on complete statements being made while only incomplete statements are returned.This spoke to me and I began to think how I could try to use this musically.

Elongation of Phrases: A key componant to the structure of this piece is the idea of creating longer phrases out of shorter ones.When you are dealing with an echo, the original phrase is reiturated with each extra reituration adding to the original phrase. Musically, I tried to mimic this idea by taking a repeating phrase and slowly adding a little extra to the end of it to make a new phrase. Often, the new phrase would create transitional material into the next section.

Displacement of Rhythm: When you have an echo, you are hearing the original phrase bounce back at you slightly after the original phrase is created. Musically I tried to do this by the displacement of musical figures from one player to the next. Often, due to the mirrored setup of the piece, I played on the visual aspect by create a delay from one side of the setup to the other.

Oversaturation of the Echo: An echo naturally occurs slightly after the first presenation of the phrase.When you are dealing with a longer phrase, the echo will begin before the original phrase is finished, blurring the distinction between the two. When you are dealing with a single voice, and it's echo, it creates a new texture when they overlap. When you begin to add more voices into the mix, the texture begins to get so thick that the distinction of the original phrase is nearly impossible.

Rhythmic Groupings: The basis for the rhythmic groupins in "it must be now," comes from the title by using the numbers of letters in each word. (2 + 4 + 2 + 3) At the very beginning of the piece the seperate groupings are made very clear through the dampening of pipes between harmonic shifts. As the piece continues the groupings become a little less present while an overlying larger grouping of 11, the sum total of the original groupings, remains in place. 

Motion no. 7  (2016 - Revised 2017) 

Instrumentation: Duet

Duration: 9:15

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"Motion no. 7" is the last duet in volume I of the Motions series. In a similar style to the previous pieces in the series, performers are facing each other on opposite ends of the setup while hocketing rhythms and melodies. The main structure, and motives, of the piece are built on two simple polyrhythms; 5:4 and 4:3. 

Distant Destinations (2011 - Revised 2017)

Instrumentation: Mallet Quartet

Duration: 15:00/20:00

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As an active percussionst, and a composer, I have spent many years performing and studying the music of Steve Reich. "Distant Destinations" is inspired by, and dedicated to, the original sound in which his music has evolved. The entire piece is derived from a single fragment of music using methods from his writing while attempting to put my own influence into the style.

Just Like That (2016)

Instrumentation: Quartet

Duration: 9:30

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Winner of the 2018 APNM Call-for-Scores

"Just Like That,” written for the NYU Percussion Ensemble Call-for-scores, is a comparison of percussive sounds separated into two categories: resonant and non-resonant. Using a mixture of traditional instruments and found sounds, the piece is divided into three separate sections to both separate and combine the two categories of sound to create various textures and sonorities within the same set-up of instruments. Buried within the structure of the music you will also find a recurring grouping of 13 notes used in various forms throughout the piece. 

All Experiences Come and Go (2016)

Instrumentation: Quartet + Track

Duration: 7:30

"All Experiences Come and Go," for Cisum Percussion, is a reflection on the emotions that tend to run our lives as individuals. The more I began to think about this idea the more I began to take solace within the quote by Eckhart Tolle. "Nothing that comes and goes is you" slowly began to take shape within my thought process that not only dealt with simple emotions, such as boredom and anger, but dealt with almost everything we do on a daily basis. The first connection I made, and the initial source for the track, was my own personal connection to the subway and train systems on my cummute. These trains, for me, were not only a way for me to get from one place to another physically but also a way for me to get to another place mentally. Often as I'm on my cummute I am reflecting, almost in a meditative state, about things I need to do during the day, things that may have happend during the day and often working on my most recent composition from a purely thought provoked position. I found that as the trains were coming and going, so were my thoughts. However, as much as my thoughts would travel they would always be coming from a place that is myself.

Motion no. 1  (2012) 

Instrumentation: Duet

Duration: 4:00

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"Motion no. 1" is a duet for shared bass drum and shared bongos. Each performer stands on opposide sides of the set-up and weaves rhythms together to form one pulse/groove between them. Fast tempos, dynamic variation, tempo changes, and rhythmic complexity will keep an audience at the edge of their seat the entire time!

Motion no. 2  (2012) 

Instrumentation: Duet 

Duration: 3:45

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"Motion no. 2" is a study in common rock and funk rhythms. Originally derived from grooves on a drum set each player performs separate sections of the groove to create the whole part. The combination of laid back grooves and fast intertwining rhythms create the unique texture that is "Motion no. 2"

Motion no. 3 (2012) 

Instrumentation: Duet

Duration: 4:00

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"Motion no. 3," written at a time while I was living in Brooklyn and commuting to Manhattan, is a duet that mimics the daily bump and grind of city life. Inspired by noises and sounds from passing traffic at night or a busy subway station I used glass bottles, rim clicks, cymbals and bass drum hits to create a texture based groove and melody that is passed between the two performers. The combination of found objects along with pieces of a drumkit give it that subway street performer feel while not straying too far from a live band sound. The main feature is a hocket groove, derived from various styles of rock and funk drum beats, that drives the piece from beginning to end.